Frequently Asked Questions
When sites use Topics, they will receive the topics that the site visitors might be interested in, without needing an individual’s specific browsing history, such as the exact websites they’ve visited, or their identity and behavior on other sites. However, if a site were to use third-party cookies to show you ads, they could monitor your specific browsing history and potentially associate it to your personal identity.
FLoC was Chrome’s initial privacy-preserving proposal to allow companies to show relevant ads to people based on their web browsing activity, without revealing specific sites they visited to any external parties including Google. Chrome experimented with FLoC in 2021 and received valuable feedback from regulators, privacy advocates, developers and industry. The new Topics API proposal addresses the same general use case as FLoC, but takes a different approach intended to address the feedback received for FLoC. Chrome intends to experiment with the Topics API and is no longer developing FLoC.
Chrome is committed to global testing of the technologies which will need to be in place so it can responsibly phase out support for third-party cookies. Chrome aims to roll out API testing globally, including in the EEA and UK.
In Chrome settings, you will be able to find which topics have been generated based on your recent browsing history. You will be able to block specific topics or opt out of the Privacy Sandbox technologies completely.
Chrome proposed an initial list of topics publicly in January 2022. Based on ecosystem feedback, Chrome announced an updated list of topics in June 2023. Chrome expects the taxonomy to evolve over time, and for governance of the taxonomy to eventually transition to an external party representing stakeholders from across the industry. We encourage the ecosystem to review the latest taxonomy and provide feedback on the changes.
As Topics uses a recognizable and human-curated list of topics to help infer what ads you will see, Chrome can and will take steps to avoid topics that might be sensitive (i.e. race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.). However, it is still possible that websites calling the API may combine or correlate topics with other signals to infer sensitive information, outside of intended use. Chrome will continue to investigate methods for reducing this risk.
First, Chrome determines the topics associated with websites. For example, a yoga website might be classified as being related to "Fitness". These topics are assigned to the websites themselves, not you. Then, Chrome keeps a handful of your most frequently visited topics in a given week, and participating sites show you ads based on these topics.
The calculation of the most frequent topics occurs entirely within the browser, without sharing data with external servers. The resulting topics may be sent to servers in an anonymous way for sensitivity and abuse analysis.
Yes. Only sites that are using Topics or have at least one embedded service that uses the Topics API, will be included in topics generation. Sites can also specifically opt-out using Permission Policy, an existing browser mechanism that is used to control features like camera access.
If a website had opted out of FLoC, the Topics API will respect that decision.